Following the Correct Summarizing Practice
Summarizing text is to take a piece of text and condense it into a much more concise version. The resulting summary must:
- Identify the thesis or purpose of the text being summarized. The main ideas that support the thesis statement must also be identified.
- Express both the thesis and supporting ideas identified, using your own words. Your words should convey the original authors meaning so that it is clearly understood, and provides an overview of the main ideas without losing focus and becoming too general.
For an effective result you must follow a good distilling practice. Summarizing text includes making decisions about what concepts should be included in the summary, and which concepts can be left out.
Effective Summarizing Practice Methods
There is more than one way to summarize a text document. However some methods have proven to be more effective than others. The following guidelines, when followed ,will result in a summarizing practice that is effective in achieving the desired results:
- Include the original text title and authors name in the first sentence
- Using your own summarizing words, state the thesis/main topic of the author in the first couple of sentences of the summary
- Pay attention to how similar ideas are grouped together into different sections. Divide the paper into the sections formed by these similar ideas, and identify the most important ideas in each section using your own words.
- Don’t include ideas not central to the text; if an idea can be omitted without affecting the conclusion it isn’t essential.
- Specific examples used by the original author can generally be left out without detracting from the summary. This also applies to minor details.
- The summary should not contain any personal opinions, ideas or interpretations of your own.
- Decrease the chance of inadvertently plagiarizing by writing the summary strictly from your own notes without looking at the original paper. Use quotation marks around any of the author’s original words that you may have used.
- Revise, edit and proofread
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